Issue # 8.3.2 “Houston, We Have a Problem” (3/29)

 ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,’ the sequel to the monster hit ‘Godzilla vs. Kong.’

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Friday, March 29, 2024 
DUKE PUTS HOUSTON OUT OF MISERY; ACC NABS 3 E8 SPOTS
Concrete Kidheads to the front of the class; Jonna goes 4-0 after going 0-4

GODIZILLA X KONG‘ 3-D IMAX IN ALHAMBRA, CA (smt) – #4S-Duke returned back to the Elite 8 after a one-year absence (their 24th Elite 8 and first since Coach K retired), holding off #1S-Houston, 54-51 in the Cougar’s home state of Texas (Dallas).  The Cougar’s Jamal Shead, who was the hero in overtime last game and All-American, injured his ankle 13 minutes in and never returned (well, except on a scooter).  Duke will play fellow ACC member #11S-NC State who continued their incredible run in shutting down #2S-Marquette, 67-58.  Marquette was just 4/31 from three (12.9%) and could never get closer than 6 in the second half.  The Wolfpack were 17-14 and had to win 5 games in 5 days in the ACC tournament just to make the Big Dance and now have added three more wins.

#1MW-Purdue had a second half 16-2 run to beat #5MW-Gonzaga, 80-68.  7′-4″ Zach Edey had 27 points and 14 rebounds (but interestingly no blocks, in fact, there were zero blocks for both teams) for the Boilermakers.  #2MW-Tennessee knocked off #3MW-Creighton 82-75 thanks to a 16-0 run after Creighton took a brief 39-37 second half lead.  While Creighton was hitting 3s (3 in the last 22 seconds), Tennessee was making free throws (8/9 in the last 32 seconds) to keep the game out of reach.  This is the only region with the top 2 teams still alive.

The last 18 minutes saw Tennessee never trail while the entire second half never saw NC State trail (led by 6+), Purdue trail, nor Duke trail (though it was tied 3 times).  The ACC got 3 teams into the Elite 8 and the Big Ten and SEC each got two.  UConn is the lone Big East representative after both Big East teams lost today (Creighton, Marquette) (to go from 7-0 to 7-2). 

Jonna, who went 0-4 yesterday, was the only one to go 4-0 to jump from a tie for 30th to 6th (104 pts), where she started the Sweet 16 in.  13 picked NC State and 27 Duke.  Concrete Kid was one of 15 to go 3-1 and takes over first with 107 pts.  JessaFish is second (106) with three tied for third (105).  25 lost Houston as their champ and six lost Marquette.  Two actually had Creighton (Bix Pix (101st-Tied, 87) and Miss Mia 2 (177th-T, 70)) as champion and NotKansas (122nd-T, 83) had the Zags. 

Fourteen still can get 3 of 4 Final Four teams right.  Larzby (19th-T, 99) and Liebe Wirbelstürme (148th-T, 77) had a chance to have all 4 Final Four teams alive at the start of the Sweet 16 and instead lost all 4 and are 2 of 9 who will go 0-for-the-Final-Four.  5 of the 7 entries that had a chance to get all 8 games correct instead lost 6 of them.  Four tied a record by going 0-8 for the Sweet 16.  The last three years have seen 32 go 0-8 while the previous 26 pools saw just four.

With all that, Concrete Kid has the best chance to win the pool (21.9%) with Bigtenfan2 (15th-T, 100) (17.2%) and Eggman1 (3rd-T) (15.6%) right behind.  However, Uconnrepeats (7th-T, 103) (56.25%) and Flying Ace (3rd-T) (55.5%) have the best chance to finish in the money with Concrete Kid at 52.3%.  14 entries can still win the pool and 51 entries can still finish in the top 8. 

WinnerTown is tied for 7th but can’t win the pool (others have UConn/Purdue in Final Four) while UncleChimps is tied for 33rd (96) and can still win it all (Alabama in final).  NKG23 and Larzby are tied for 19th but are eliminated (former has UConn/Purdue but both losing in Final Four and latter has no Final Four team left) while Romans109 is tied for 161st (75) but can still win 7th (Tenn over Ill in Final). 

For the Bonus, the Big East and Big 12 were eliminated and with two ACC teams playing each other, that guarantees a 12th ACC win, meaning just 7 entries can still win the Bonus.  The possible outcomes now are the ACC with 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 wins, the Big Ten with 13 wins, or a combination of ACC/Big Ten/SEC with 12 wins (which no one picked).  If 12 is the number or the ACC gets 13 or 16 wins, then no one would win this Bonus (Bonus1) and we would go to Bonus2, the total points tiebreaker.

We are now on Twitter (@HWCI_Pools) and Discord.  Please follow!  I will post using #hwcincaa mini-updates during the day so you can follow without being on Twitter (and if you are, please use #hwcincaa).  Please join our Facebook HWCI NCAA Pool Group or post comments on our blog.  Here you can join the group and meet your competitors, make new friends, set up NCAA watching gatherings, and post stuff to the wall (pictures, witty comments, etc.). 

   Tids & Bits – the three one-possession Sweet 16 games matched the 3 total in the previous 48 games… NC State made their 7th Elite 8 (and have two titles in 1974 and 1983) but first since 1986… Tennessee is making just their 2nd Elite 8 appearance (2010)… Purdue made their 6th Elite 8 (last 2019)… Purdue shot 57.1% but Gonzaga was still about 50/50 (49.2%)… Purdue’s Braden Smith had 15 assists and was 2 rebounds shy of a triple-double… a very low scoring first half saw Duke enter the locker room with a 23-22 lead… either Purdue or Tennessee will be making their first Final Four in our 29-year pool era (Purdue’s last was 1980, Tennessee never)… Tennessee was 15/18 on free throws… 158 picked Purdue and 116 Tennessee… Concrete Kid is our 6th different leader (after each day)… Marquette’s loss was the biggest hit to win the pool reducing the contenders from 38 to 25 while Houston’s loss eliminated the most entries (going from 92 to 62)… Charlie Hustle 2 has long clinched last and finishes with a record-low 30 points… .. 9 will be 0-for-the-Final-Four… entries averaged 1.61 wins today and 2.92 total (of 8), the highest average since 2019 (3.48)…

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My Fabone’s Leap Year crashed with Houston…
Scott


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